Millions of Americans are struggling with their personal finances this year. The coronavirus pandemic has hurt small business, limited work opportunities and stretched personal savings to the limit.
But if you’re struggling to make ends meet or eager for a financial boost, you might be surprised to learn that there could be money waiting for you in your state’s treasury. Every year, state governments collect unclaimed property and money. And there’s a good chance some of that property or money could belong to you.
As Avenu’s David Milby explains in his latest op-ed for Fox Business, there’s a quick and easy way to check for unclaimed property. It’s called MissingMoney.com. MissingMoney compiles asset listings from 41 different state databases and makes all those databases easily accessible and searchable from a single website.
The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA) calculates that 1 in 10 Americans are owed some sort of unclaimed property. Read David’s op-ed here to learn more about unclaimed property and how MissingMoney.com can help you find it.
Trusted by more states than any other system, Avenu’s Unclaimed Property Solutions provides administrators with a suite of comprehensive tools to unite owners to unclaimed property they didn’t know they were missing. We were happy to learn about the success that Arizona’s program is having and their recent campaign to unite military personnel to their unclaimed property.
Every year, the Arizona Department of Revenue’s (ADOR’s) Unclaimed Property program returns millions of dollars to claimants, including $42.5 million in 2019-2020. This year, right in time for Veteran’s Day, ADOR started a campaign to search for 14,000 military personnel and unite them to properties that total $7 million.
Much of this property belongs to military who were not permanent residents of Arizona but temporarily stationed at a military base. The agency has identified more than 14,000 military personnel with last known Arizona addresses from several military locations including; Camp Navajo Army Base, Fort Huachuca Army Base, Luke Air Force Base, Tucson’s Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Yuma Proving Ground Army Base, and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma.
Some dating back over 30 years, these properties total $7 million, with the largest property due to a single owner totaling $136,217
Currently, military members with large properties will receive a notice with the goal being that the property owner or family member will contact ADOR’s Unclaimed Property Unit.
Unclaimed property generally consists of money due to an individual from sources like old bank accounts, uncashed payroll checks, tax refunds, credit balances, rebates, returned deposits, and dormant safe deposit boxes. Often, the company holding the funds has an outdated or the wrong forwarding address for the customer, and in some cases, a person passes away with no family members aware of the assets. Most accounts are turned over to the state after several years of inactivity.
ADOR returns the property to owners who provide documentation showing their right to claim the assets. Claimants must include a valid photo ID and documentation linking them to the owner’s last known address with their ADOR Claim Form. Claimants must also provide documentation demonstrating a legal right to claim any property listed in another name.
In the past three fiscal years, ADOR returned roughly $155 million to individuals and businesses.
Americans are strapped for cash. Only 40% of Americans have enough money to pay a $1,000 unexpected expense from savings. We’re constantly looking for second jobs, and ways to bring in extra money. However, Americans are starting to realize there may be an easier way to put a little extra money in your pocket.
MissingMoney.com is a national search tool that works with 43 state treasurers to help citizens find and claim unclaimed property. You might be amazed just how much money people are receiving.
A few examples of how much money available includes: New York, $13 billion; California, $9 billion; Illinois, $2.9 billion; Florida, $1 billion; and Colorado, $600 million.
Recently, a New Jersey resident, Erin Fiorello, received $1,000 from the state of New Jersey. Imagine what you could pay off or the impact an extra $1,000 could have. She first realized she could claim money when a group approached her willing to help claim the money for a fee. With MissingMoney.com she found out she was owed $1,000 and pocketed the entire amount.
In Ohio, fair attendees were treated to a surprise. The state of Ohio reunited 553 fairgoers with $195,118.89 at the Ohio State Fair. Instead of a booth trying to get you to spend your money, this booth helped people receive an average of $350. That would brighten anyone’s fair experience!
U.S. News and World Report recently ran an article discussing some of the common types of unclaimed property available: former pensions and retirement plans, life insurance policies, bank accounts, unpaid wages, utility bills, etc. They also share the story of one person who was able to help his family.
“Steve Wiegenstein, an author in Columbia, Missouri, suggests visiting MissingMoney.com. “I recently found $178 from the state of Illinois that was owed to me as an unclaimed escrow return from the sale of a house that occurred nearly 10 years ago,” he says.
He adds that he then recommended MissingMoney.com to his daughter. “She found a utility refund from Iowa that dated back to her college years,” he says.
While every state has programs to return money to citizens, MissingMoney.com lets you search almost every state to see where you are owed money. After submitting a form, the money can be yours. This capability helped one of Avenu’s happiest recipients who found money in multiple states.
One recipient recently shared their experience with us through direct message. This message made our day. “This year, our family claimed: $6k from Kansas, $3k from Georgia, and $3.6k from Michigan.” Wow!
Take a moment today and search your name on MissingMoney.com and see what you could claim. Share this exciting news with your friends and family as well. They may love what they find!